Democrat-Gazette seeking voluntary hour/pay cuts

As if the recent bankruptcy of the Tribune Co. (Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times) wasn’t enough to send shivers down your back, yesterday marked yet another example of how the newspaper industry is struggling in these tough times.

The Arkansas Blog has come across an all-staff memo sent to Arkansas Democrat-Gazette employees yesterday. The memo, sent from newspaper President Paul Smith, is titled “Reducing Expenses” and asks for volunteers to be considered “to reduce their workdays to four days a week…with compensation reduced accordingly.”

Smith told the Arkansas Times, “We’re trying to come up with every way we can to cut costs without having to go into a big layoff.”

In similar news, The Iconoclast made mention last week of changes at the Las Vegas Review-Journal which indicate economic troubles for Stephens Media LLC, who also owns one of our other local newspapers, The Morning News. The LVRJ has consolidated pages and therefore slimmed down certain sections. “Got that? Less news, same price,” says Jonah.

News like this is certainly disturbing but it feels even worse when it’s this close to home.